The IoT has already grown much larger and at a much faster pace than anyone had imagined. It is changing the way businesses run and this trend is only going to accelerate further. Analysts at Gartner predict that there will be 25 billion connected devices by 2020 and that connected machines will overtake the cellular connections worldwide in the next few years.
Some industries have been quicker to embrace this upcoming machine learning revolution that others. Insurance, for example, is one of the industries that immediately understood the value of having better, more focused and more relevant data at their disposal. All of this information allows them to evaluate potential risk in a much better manner than ever before.
Banking, traditionally, has been slow to accept large technological changes. It is only now that contactless payments have started to become commonplace, years after the technology to enable this was possible.
The IoT though is a revolution, the scale of which will have never been witnessed by the world before. Banks have the incentive of adapting these technologies to their business to be able to understand industry health better (thus making better lending decisions), bring down costs of operation through the use of intelligent biometric systems and make the life of their customers easier than ever before.
They can also use the data available to them through IoT to be able to offer personalized reward services to their customers. Banks will also be able to use the information they gather from supply chains in various industries to offer specific guidance and information to their customers.
Such things are unimaginable today but with the price of sensors falling rapidly every year, it is only a matter of time before RFID and other tracking technologies will be replaced by sensors able to tap into the IoT at any time.
All of this information though comes with one big caveat. It has to be secured. Banks are struggling to upgrade their security infrastructure to be able to combat the much more complex threats they face now. Any single weakness in their IoT connected devices could lead to a huge breach of security.
Data which is frequently being moved across networks is much more vulnerable than that held securely on an isolated server. Since the value of IoT is with the amount of information that is being exchanged and is always available, security researchers have been trying to think of out of the box solutions to secure all this information.
One of the answers is to encrypt all the information so that it is only accessible by the people it is intended for. Fingerprint data, voice recognition, facial recognition and even iris scans are all valuable tools that will be used in place of passwords.
Another option will be to deploy blockchain technology where the information is sent in small packages to be assembled at the final destination. This is exactly the way in which peer to peer technology works and is something that is used by millions of people all over the world already.
The pieces are starting to come together for a huge change in the banking industry. The way in which we perceive banks and the very manner in which they function will change as IoT becomes a part of their culture.
Change is often difficult to adapt to and will push you out of your comfort zone, but banks which try and stick to the past will soon find themselves struggling for survival.